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All the Flowers Are Dying
by Lawrence Block

Category: Fiction / Mystery
304 pages; ISBN: 0060198311

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

All the Flowers Are Dying
Lawrence Block
Morrow, Mar 2005, $24.95, 304 pp.
ISBN: 0060198311

Five years ago, someone raped and killed three little children. All the evidence pointed to Preston Applewhite, who though he denied the deed, was convicted and sentenced to execution by lethal injection. New York Dr. Bodinson visits Preston, pretending to believe the condemned convict is innocent. Not long afterward, Preston is killed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In New York, Matthew Scudder, who retired from NYPD thirty years ago, has reduced his private investigative caseload to practically zero as social security, a city retirement pension, and Elaine’s income from her shop seems adequate. However, he accepts Louise as a client and looks into the boyfriend David Thompson she met over an Internet dating service. As his simple inquiries tie back to the Applewhite case, he finds evidence of a serial killer who loves to kill when the moment is right; no discernable “full moon” pattern emerges. This diabolical killer targets the Scudders as his next victims, which means rape and murder is coming home to roost.

Scudder continues to age with each new book but this time grandpa feels old with his mortality confronting him as he attends several “last call” funerals of peers. Still once he knows what he must stop, he refuses to back down even if healing seems slower than ever. The serial killer is incredible as he does not fall into the usual profile of obsession. This makes him a worthy opponent of Scudder, whose investigation starts off so simple, but soon spins into a deadly game of battle chess between two capable antagonists. Block writes his usual fantastic thriller that his audience will want to read in one session.

Harriet Klausner

 

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